Bye Bye Mr. Rooster

It's Monday! Time for our weekly installment of Radical Homemaking. Interested in learning more about what that means, check out THIS post and THIS post. 

The backyard chicken project is going very well! We acquired four chicks at the end of September and installed a coop crafted from recycled materials in October. We have four main reasons for keeping backyard chickens:

1) Chicken waste is a great additive to compost and will keep our garden going strong. 

2) I want my children to know where our food comes from and to assist in it's raising and harvesting.

3) My younger son, Charlie, can only eat certain food consistencies because of his stroke and eggs are his main source of protein - up there with dark leafy green smoothies. And since I'll eventually pulling both eggs and greens out of my backyard, I'll be confident in the knowledge that my baby's food isn't full of chemicals and other crap. For a kid recovering from a severe brain injury, he needs his food to be top-notch. (Don't we all?)

4) And finally, chickens are fun.

Unfortunately, nature took its course and we've confirmed that our Barred Rock is indeed a rooster. I had a feeling from early on, but wanted to wait and see. Once those huge saddle feathers came in and he started making some serious noise, I knew it was time to find him a new home. The rooster has gone to another owner and now, our foursome is a threesome for the time being. We're probably going to add another two hens in the spring or summer. Until then, Mavis, Etta (both Rhode Island Reds) and Gladys (a Golden Laced Wyandotte) will rule the roost.

The ladies are not laying yet due mostly to their age and the short winter days, but my entire household is patiently awaiting the big day when we finally see that first egg. The thing I love most about these silly girls is their distinct personalities and their interaction. Watching them is like watching a favorite soap opera. Mavis wouldn't pose for the camera - she's finicky that way. But Etta and Mavis were both happy to play along.